The benefits of using social media for small businesses
The world has moved towards a digitalised future, with marketing and its strategies being included in this. There are lots of benefits of using social media for small businesses, but to achieve them you need to have a plan and consistently use it.
Over the past decade – and particularly since Covid 19 times – we have seen the number of social media platforms and the number of users of it, boom.
Social media is now, more than ever before, an integral part of any marketing strategy and can cement together your wider marketing plan. In fact, you may receive more website visits, more enquiries, reach a wider customer base and improve your connections all through creating the right social media content.
Understand why you are doing social media marketing
Many business owners we meet with say, “I know I should be on social media” or “I should be doing more on social”.
We aren’t a fan of ‘should’ when it comes to marketing.
Every business is different, with different target audiences and objectives.
If you aren’t sure of the reasons behind why you should be doing it, and aren’t able to undertake it with conviction – then like any form of marketing – it’s unlikely to work for you.
But, it’s unlikely that there wouldn’t be an opportunity for you and your business on a social media platform – it might just not be Facebook or LinkedIn! You may need to think more broadly than the typical social media platforms.
So start by understanding why you ‘should’ be doing social media marketing and where your audience is before even creating an account.
How does social media support content marketing?
Social media is a fantastic way to build your online presence. It’s also a place potential clients can go to find out more about your business, see your previous work and reviews, make recommendations, understand your marketing messages and link to your other online spaces.
Posting high quality photos of previous work alongside captions explaining how and what you did acts as a portfolio of case studies. This helps to build the trust of potential customers as they can see whether what you are saying on your website is true. It also allows for past clients to comment on these posts which act as reviews.
The majority of social media channels allow you to link to other social networks, and to your website. You can also include any of your social media links on your website. This creates a connection between your online spaces that people can flick between. Your social media posts should direct viewers to your website as they want to find out more information or get in touch.
Platforms such as Facebook are a known place to go when searching for a specific company or trade. Users often ask questions about which company is best in the area and will receive a myriad of people comment about their experiences with different companies.
Ensuring your Facebook page is being used frequently, contains all the information people need and directs people to your website is important. It means that users searching for companies in your industry can visit your Facebook page, compare with other companies, and choose to enquire with you as you have been recommended by people that are previous clients of yours, and your Facebook page is trustworthy.
Social media also allows you to show your brand personality. Your website is to sell your business, it’s products and services and generate leads/sales. Whereas on your social media, you want to engage, inspire and generate the interest of your target audience. Of course, that isn’t to suggest your brand personality shouldn’t also come through on your website, it’s just that social media gives you a freer rein in that area.
What are the benefits of using social media for small businesses?
Social media is a great way to make your business known to a much wider audience, and to your ideal target audience.
With millions of people having social media accounts and the number of hashtags out there, getting the word out about your business has never been easier!
When users need to find something specific, they often search for that hashtag, such as #flowerdelivery or #gardeninspo. Including these industry specific hashtags in your social media posts mean you’ll be showing up on people’s feeds when they search.
If they like your content, they may choose to follow you which could lead to enquiries at a later date, or a website visit as it’s easy to click the link displayed in your profile.
People of all ages, gender and niches use social media, though those on Instagram are usually a different audience than those on LinkedIn for example. It’s important to post on a range of social media platforms, but understanding which platform is most relevant for your business should be focused on.
Even if your products or services are for children, their parents use social media. If your target market is the older generation, their sons and daughters will be on social media. They will be able to pass on the message to whoever your ideal clients is, so even if you don’t think your target audience is on social media, it’s still important to post as those that influence your target market will be!
The best thing about social media… it’s free! There is no cost to you to post on any social media accounts and it can be a gamechanger when it comes to website visitors, enquiries and exposure, as long as you’re posting the right content at the right time.
Social media for businesses often include analytics which show statistics of who is seeing your posts and when, so you can tailor your content for them.
It’s also convenient for your potential clients. The chances are, they scroll through social media daily, so when your post pops up and all they have to do is click a few buttons to make an enquiry or find out more, they’re happy to do that!
Getting it right
Understanding the power of social media can be difficult to get your head round as it’s constantly changing and the tools involved are endless.
At Growth by Design, our marketing team are experienced in developing a social media marketing strategy that works by attracting the right people to your account, and encouraging them to delve deeper into your business.
If you want some help with your social media – whether that be social media strategy, planning or management – just give us a call to talk it through. We are always happy to support SMEs in any way we can to see them thrive!